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Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

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Meet the 2024-2025 drum majors

Rising seniors Quinten Saylor, Cecily Heisey-Terrell, and Olivia Heisey-Terrell have been announced as the new drum majors.
Cecily Heisey-Terrell ’25, Quinten Saylor ’25, Olivia Heisey-Terrell ’25 | PHOTOS: K. Plows, Charlotte Horetsky ’24

Commanding a 300+ person tour de force, three high school students hold the power of the largest high school marching band in Pennsylvania. 

On May 18 at 12:00 PM, the Heisey-Terrells were leaning close to the screen, anxious to find out who got drum major.

“I told her that we had to look at it together,” junior drum-major-to-be Olivia Heisey-Terrell said. “And I didn’t see it. Like at first, she pulled it open on her phone and just like, shrieked. So I was just in her room screaming.”

Olivia looks forward to conducting alongside her twin sister, Cecily Heisey-Terrell.

“It’s like, best case scenario. It’s gonna be so much fun having her next to me, and especially for my parents. They’re on top of the moon right now. It’s just really, it’s really great,” Olivia said.

Cecily and Olivia had prepared for parts of the audition together.

“I was nervous about my interview,” Olivia said. “But everything went well with the conducting, I think. Cecily taught me how to conduct, so I owe a lot of my success to her. But it went really well. I think I had, I guess, control over the band and felt good about it.” 

Junior Cecily Heisey-Terrell is ecstatic about her new position but hopes to make the team as close as she and Olivia. 

“We’re going on the AMA trip later this summer,” Cecily said. “So I really hope that we’ll have an opportunity to get closer.” 

Junior Quinten Saylor is also excited to take up the new role.

“I just can’t wait to learn the scores, conduct it, know how everything works. Last year, it just looked like they were having so much fun up there,” Saylor said.

Saylor hopes to continue the tradition of the marching band’s tight-knit family.

“Our band is like, ‘Oh, we’re just like 300+ kids having a good time on a Friday night,’ you know? It’s so much more about community here than in other places,” Saylor said.

Band Director Mr. Nick Pignataro agrees.

“I hope they create an identity as the 2024 Marching Band,” Pignataro said. 

Olivia believes they can best maintain that community by making the drum majors approachable.

“I want to be friendly,” Olivia said. “I want to be the one that you could come and talk to if you have a problem, that you’re not scared of, especially for freshmen because I remember I was always kind of scared of the drum major.” 

Saylor has a similar goal of approachability.

“I’m going to put myself in the mindset of, what was I thinking when I was a freshman?” Saylor said. “You know, I’m assuming that maybe every freshman had their mom force them to join the band. And then, I’m gonna walk around and make individual bonding. And I know it might be tough to find every single freshman like, ‘Hey, what’s up, how you doing? What do you need help with?’, but I do want to create a sense of community [next year as well].”

Mr. Pignataro’s small goals continue to build this year, drawing his focus to a specific trait. 

“I believe everyone who’s on the team is exceptionally kind,” Pignataro said. “But I believe that every single one of these people values kindness over everything else, and that will spread to our whole band.”

As drum majors, they won’t get the chance to be directly surrounded by that community of marching band members during games, which Saylor will miss.

“I was asking for change this whole time, and now that it’s finally here, I’m like, what about my fourth quarter and going nuts in the stands?” Saylor said. “Now I have to freak out on the ladder all by myself. So that’s like one feeling where I’m just upset I’m gonna miss out on a lot.” 

Despite her change in role, Cecily is increasingly enthusiastic about the upcoming season. 

“I just keep thinking, what if we did this and this, and I just keep making up hypothetical situations for the next season. And I’m just really excited to see how it plays out,” Cecily said.

Olivia has advice to band members aspiring to become drum major.

“I think it was super valuable to have some band experience to play an instrument,” Olivia said. “I guess my advice is just join everything. Like, join all the bands. Try your best and just be really brave about it. Because you’re never going to find out whether or not you would have got it if you don’t try.”

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About the Contributors
Kaitlyn Ho ’26
Kaitlyn Ho ’26, Managing Editor of Web
Kaitlyn Ho is the current managing editor of web and the health and sciences editor of The Panther Press. Her first article was on the German Exchange Students. There was no turning back after that. She loves to learn about communicating complex science in simple ways, reading, dancing, artificial intelligence, and playing (badly) the piano and cello. Her future self can confirm that she will laugh at and enjoy every single thing her past self wrote.
Riley Smith ’25
Riley Smith ’25, Social Media Editor
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